The Many Triggers That Precede Relapse

Posted on November 15th, 2014

Staying sober requires constant vigilance and awareness of the many things that could trigger a relapse. Some relapse triggers are obvious, such as hanging around bars or wandering around neighborhoods known for high drug trafficking activity. Even continuing to hang around with friends or acquaintances who habitually use alcohol or drugs can be dangerous and asking for trouble.

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Food and Mood in Addiction Recovery

Posted on November 13th, 2014

Food has a powerful effect on both our bodies and our minds. Just how much food impacts our brains and our moods is coming to light with research. This information is important for addicts in recovery because a downswing in mood can lead right to a relapse. There are many reasons to eat well in recovery, like healing nutritional deficits caused by substance abuse, feeling better physically and creating a mental balance. One of the most important reasons may be the stabilization of your mood.

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Retraining the Brain in Recovery

Posted on November 11th, 2014

Much of the new research into addiction talks about how drugs change the brain. What does this mean? We know that whatever those changes are, they make a person dependent on the drug, but how does it work? It turns out that our brains have an amazing degree of plasticity, which means the brain can easily change and adapt in response to stimuli like drugs. This plasticity is responsible for getting us hooked on substances, but it may also help in the development of treatments.

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Overcoming Common Rehab Fears

Posted on November 7th, 2014

No one, it seems, wants to go to rehab. It is a necessity for many addicts, but not a choice that is easy to make. And it isn’t easy to follow through with that choice and go. One of the most important factors holding many people back from going to rehab is fear. Not all addicts will admit to it, but many of the worries, concerns, excuses and reasons for putting off rehab can be blamed on fear. Here are some of the most common fears about going to rehab and how to overcome them:

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Polysubstance Abuse Tied to Significant Decline in Mental Function

Posted on November 5th, 2014

Polysubstance abuse is a pattern of alcohol and/or drug intake that involves at least two types of mind-altering substances. People engaged in this form of abuse have known risks for a range of serious and potentially fatal health problems. In a study published in September/October 2014 in The American Journal on Addictions, researchers from several U.S. institutions investigated the impact that polysubstance abuse has on the average affected individual’s mental or cognitive function. In addition, these researchers identified the combinations of substances commonly consumed by polysubstance abusers.

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Long-Term Cannabis Use Makes Cocaine Withdrawal Worse, Study Finds

Posted on November 3rd, 2014

Cannabis abuse is the term for a non-addicted pattern of marijuana/cannabis consumption that nevertheless interferes with the ability to maintain stable, productive daily routines. The condition forms part of a larger health problem called cannabis use disorder. In a study published in September 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of Brazilian researchers looked at the negative influence that a well-established pattern of cannabis abuse has on the detoxification/withdrawal process that forms the beginning of any successful recovery from cocaine addiction. These researchers also looked at the negative influence of an early introduction to cannabis/marijuana intake on the same phase of the recovery process.

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Drug Cue Response Helps Predict Relapse in Heroin Addicts

Posted on October 30th, 2014

Drug cues are a range of internally and externally generated signals that support continued substance intake in a person with a history of substance use. In an individual affected by substance addiction, the presence of these cues helps foster the drug cravings that reinforce an ongoing pattern of uncontrolled substance use. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Addiction Biology, a team of Chinese and American researchers sought to determine if the intensity of the response to drug cues helps predict whether a person recovering from heroin addiction will relapse.

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Even One-Off Binge Drinking in Pregnancy Affects Child’s Mental Health

Posted on October 28th, 2014

Binge drinking is a form of excessive alcohol intake marked by rapid consumption that leads to legal intoxication. Current evidence indicates that pregnant women who participate in this form of drinking can seriously alter the brain development of their unborn children. In a study published in September 2014 in the journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, a team of British and Australian researchers investigated the negative impact that even a single episode of binge drinking during pregnancy can have on the mental health outcomes of children 11 years later.

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Anxiety Increases Risk for Alcohol Problems

Posted on October 24th, 2014

Anxiety is a mental state characterized by a prominent sense of fear, dread or unease. Some people have an unusually high level of sensitivity to this state that can significantly increase the odds of developing a diagnosable mental health condition called an anxiety disorder. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Addiction, researchers from two U.S. universities explored the impact that heightened anxiety sensitivity and the motivation to use alcohol as a coping mechanism have on the chances that an adult will developing serious alcohol-related problems.

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Young People Turn to Marijuana to Chase Away Blues, Study Finds

Posted on October 22nd, 2014

Millions of American teenagers and young adults use the addictive, recreational drug marijuana on at least a monthly basis. Underlying motivations for marijuana use can vary considerably from person to person and from situation to situation. In a study published in September 2014 in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, researchers from two U.S. institutions assessed the types of moods likely to promote intake of the drug in teens and young adults. The researchers concluded that a “down” or negative mood commonly precedes marijuana consumption in people in these age groups.

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Even Moderate Drinking Harms Older Adults’ Memories

Posted on October 20th, 2014

Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to a range of serious health problems, including disruption of memory. Public health guidelines for moderate levels of alcohol intake are specifically intended to reduce to the odds that any given person will experience alcohol-related harm. In a study published in September 2014 in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, researchers from the University of Florida looked at the negative impact that even moderate alcohol consumption can have on older adults’ ability to use an essential form of memory called working memory.

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Most Long-Term Heroin Users Will Suffer Non-Fatal Overdose, Study Finds

Posted on October 19th, 2014

Heroin is the powerful opioid narcotic derived from naturally occurring substances found in the opium poppy. One of the potential consequences of using this drug is a fatal or non-fatal overdose that collapses normal function in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). In a study published in September 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of Australian researchers used information from an ongoing project to determine how often long-term heroin users experience a non-fatal overdose. These researchers also identified groups of long-term users most likely to experience such an episode.

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Helper’s High: How Doing Good Can Make You Feel Good

Posted on October 18th, 2014

By Edie Weinstein, LSW

Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” — Ann Herbert

The term “random acts of kindness” has long been part of the vernacular. For some people, it may take the form of paying the toll for the person behind you on the turnpike. For others, it could be leaving a care package on a neighbor’s doorstep.

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BMI, Gender Affect Young Adults’ Alcohol Consumption

Posted on October 17th, 2014

People who consume alcohol excessively in episodes of binge drinking or regularly maintain a pattern of heavy drinking have clearly increased risks for a range of alcohol-related problems, including potentially fatal accidents and alcohol use disorder (diagnosable alcohol abuse/alcoholism). In a study published in September 2014 in the International Journal of Drug Policy, researchers from two U.S. universities examined the connection that body fat measurements called BMI scores have to the amount of alcohol typically consumed by young men, as well as to the amount of alcohol typically consumed by young women.

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Young Adults Add Habit, Boredom to Reasons They Smoke Pot

Posted on October 16th, 2014

The Marijuana Motives Measure (MMM) is a 25-question screening tool designed to help researchers, addiction specialists and mental health professionals understand the specific reasons people start using or continue to use the addictive recreational drug marijuana. This screening tool uses the answers to its 25 questions to identify five general motivations that can contribute to marijuana intake. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Addictive Behaviors, a team of Dutch researchers examined the accuracy of the Marijuana Motivations Measure and assessed its usefulness for understanding young adults who regularly use marijuana.

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